This paper describes the historical roots, symbolism, and uses of musical instruments in capoeira. A martial art form of Afro-Brazilian origin, capoeira is rhythmically performed to music in a roda (i.e., circle). Capoeira is at times defined as a martial art form disguised as dance because it is rooted in the struggles of African slaves. Elements of music, dance, fight, and ritual are part of this unique martial art form, which has two main styles: Angola and Regional. Capoeira styles are important as they determine rhythmic patterns, chant, movement, and musical instrumentation in a roda. The leading instrument in all capoeira styles is the berimbau. The instrument dictates the rhythm and movement of capoeira players in a roda (Ilari, 2001). Made out of a wooden stick, a wire, and a gourd and played with a stick and a coin, the berimbau is considered a sacred instrument due to its association with the cry of the slaves. Other instruments used in capoeira are pandeiros, agogo bells, reco-recos, and atabaques. A discussion regarding the use of these instruments within the context of capoeira will be presented at the conference. The incorporation of these instruments into contemporary Brazilian music will also be considered.